It’s a habit. Every morning, I walk out the bedroom with a book and pen in hand. Just as the steam rises from the hot mug of coffee in front of me, I open the book. Paragraphs and paragraphs written in the familiar cursive writing lie asleep between its pages. I open the cap of my Hero ink pen, and just like any other day, it throws a tantrum. So I flick it twice, and then poke the nib violently on the page, till, like a squid, it lets out thin black ink. With it, I write the Story of Yesterday. The movie I watched, the new fruit that I tasted, the conversations I had, and the love that I got. Each story, like each day, doesn’t take more than 24 lines. By the end of it, my face is a little moist from the coffee steam, and my heart, a little lighter. I close the book, take a long sip, and begin the day — which, the next morning, would be capsuled into a Story of Yesterday .
It’s Sunday night, there are many more hours between now and the rush of Monday morning. So we sit back, make some jokes, share some laughs. We let ourselves sink into the couch, and watch a heartwarming movie. And then we move slowly from the living room to the kitchen as if intoxicated by the joy of the weekend. We make some space on the table for a game of Tsuro – the game of the path. Tile by tile, we move our respective coins, surrendering to wherever the noodle like path takes us. But we must stop, for, the pizza guy is here. Board game aside, we pour ourselves a glass of coke each, and take a heavy cheese-dripping slice of pizza. Mouth-full, we chuckle to Frasier’s rib-tickling jokes. After all, it’s Sunday night, there are many hours between now and the rush of Monday morning.
It started with Monopoly. N and I would sincerely carry the rectangular box along with a bottle of wine to all our friends’ houses. An hour into the game, the laughter would cease, and there would come a sense of tension, jealousy, anxiety, and a raw need to win. So we kept the little houses and mansions aside, and instead, got tiny rail carriages. In Ticket to Ride, USA version, there was no room to argue, beg and trade, as in Monopoly; and there was less left to chance. But then, one could always block another player’s route. When this happened, there was one less happy person. It was the same with Risk, Catan, and Seven Wonders.
Until one day we trespassed on Forbidden Island. N and I played it nine times, always defeated by the game. But together, we strengthened our resolve to beat it, and the tenth time we did. Us against the game. Together, united. Whether we lost or won. We found the same joy in Pandemic, last night. We plotted for hours to end a breakout, find cures, and build research centers around the world. Over pizza and wine, six of us fought our hardest; and when we lost, we cursed the game, swept the coins off the board, then laughed and planned another game night the next day.